Hannover/Brussels. The European Commission is throwing its weight behind CeBIT in Hannover. Günther H. Oettinger, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, plans to stage a new annual High-Level Conference on Digital Union at the leading global showcase for digitization, starting with CeBIT 2016 (14 to 18 March).
Implementing its Digital Single Market strategy is one of the boldest and most important of the European Commission’s policy priorities. The aim of the strategy is to remove regulatory barriers and move from 28 fragmented national markets to a single market. Among much else, the strategy envisages pan-continental telecommunications networks, digital services that cross borders, and a wave of innovative European startups. A fully functional Digital Single Market has the potential to contribute an additional €415 billion per year to the European economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
“Over the coming years we will use CeBIT to gauge progress on the Europeanisation of digital policy and to identify the areas in which Europe needs to step up its efforts to catch up with its global competitors,” Commissioner Oettinger said. His conference plans build on the EU involvement at CeBIT that was initiated by his predecessor in office, Neelie Kroes.
The High-Level Conference will be held annually, starting with CeBIT 2016. Each year, it will present progress made to date on the development of a Digital Single Module Market in Europe and benchmark this progress against international technological and societal developments. The High-Level Conference will be held as part of the CeBIT Global Conferences on the opening day of each year’s CeBIT. The primary focus will be on infrastructure upgrades and expansion, standardization, security and startups. The conference is being jointly staged by the European Commission and Deutsche Messe, and admission will be free of charge to CeBIT ticketholders.